Climbers and puncheurs a chance for Spain hosted championships
The time trial of the 2014 road World Championships, in Ponferrada, Spain, will finish with a 9.5km climb. The unconventional course, at 39km long, has been unveiled by the online magazine Revista Desde la Cuneta and is a far cry from this year's parcours in Copenhagen. While some riders in this year's event were pushing 58 tooth chainrings, the same won't be the case in three years time.
The final climb to San Cristobal de Valdueza is an average gradient of 5.9 per cent and ramps up to 17 per cent close to the finish, offering the climbers and puncheurs a better chance to capture the title.
Though the climb starts out softly, it ramps up violently at the three kilometre mark. To support any potential bike change, the organisers may install team boxes at the foot of the ascent.
A former professional and designer of the Spanish Worlds' courses, Emilio Villanueva, explains he wants to create a show "like in a Formula 1 event", with a massive crowd on the final climb. Such a concept has appeared very popular at the Giro d'Italia in recent years.
Villanueva added by explaining that he wants to break the routine of rouleurs like Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) and all-rounder Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad), 2011 time trial World Champion, from dominating the time trial event.
"Usually it's possible to say who will be on the podium three or four years before. Here I think it's totally unpredictable."
The course will likely be given a test run ahead of the world championship event, with Spanish national championship organisers considering the use of the course in 2013 or 2014.
The San Cristobal de Valdueza is part of the Alto de El Morrenero, and has been used in the Vuelta a Espana twice before. In 1997, Robert Heras captured the stage atop the climb and more recently Alejandro Valverde won a stage there in 2006.
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